A week ago, we invited our readers to join in our challenge of making the short month of February into a productive writing month, but sharing our goals and progress. Our invitation was enthusiastically accepted, and we had 21 people share their own goals in the comments section.
Unbelievably, we’re now 1/4 of the way through our month-long writing challenge, so it’s time to check in and see where we are. We’ll go first, and then you can share your successes and challenges in the comments.
For Anne, this week brought both fire and ice to her professional life, so she didn’t quite as much done as she had hoped, but some progress was made. She says:
“My student and I have made a lot of progress on one extended abstract, and I’ve just gotten a draft going on the one I’m leading. Both are due on the 17th, and the posters themselves are due shortly thereafter, so they will be the major focus this week. I got a figure and its text section finalized on one paper, but was reminded how many figures there are still to go. This week’s I need to get at least one more figure completed, along with its associated text. On the other paper, my co-authors and I had a great discussion, and we agreed that we just need to get it done! So, I need to buckle down and work on the introduction that I’ve been avoiding. I don’t feel like I’m 25% along on my goals, but something is better than nothing.”
Chris’s progress on his New Zealand tectonics paper was also slower than he might have liked, but knows that this is par for the course when it comes to paper production. He says:
“My paper writing always seems to start with a lot of work that doesn’t really increase the word count but sets a good foundation for later writing, namely making sure the data is correctly processed and working out the best ways to present it. Good figures are an important part of telling your scientific story, and getting them started early ensures they are central to the narrative, rather than an afterthought. On that score, I’ve had a few wrinkles on the data processing side that took longer than I would have liked, but I’ve made progress, and I’ve also made some encouraging intellectual strides in how my discussion section is going to be structured. It’s actually quite stimulating to come back to this problem again with a bit more knowledge and perspective – not that that’s an excuse for putting off writing this paper for so long! Hopefully the foundations have been laid for getting a lot more writing done by the time I check in next week.”
How has everyone else been doing this week? Let us know about your progress in the comments.